What do shopping carts, mattresses, and briefcases all have in common? Well, for one, they can all be turned into interesting-looking venues for sitting. From cartoonish foam chairs to avant-garde shopping cart creations to portable briefcase chairs, we survey the gamut of recycled leisure furniture, and decide we're totally into them.
Mattress chairs from the Madam Rubens collection by Frank Willems
If you've ever tried to get rid of an old mattress, you know how awkward and unwieldy they can be. So when Dutch designer Frank Willems discovered that mattresses were one of the most difficult things for waste processing facilities to dispose of - as they perpetually get stuck in the shredders - he determined to find an innovative and sexy way in which to recycle them. His brainchild, the aptly named Madam Rubens collection, fuses antique chairs with throwaway mattresses. The chairs are coated in water-resistant foam and then painted, which gives the end result a delightfully absurd rubbery look, reminiscent of yes, Peter Paul Rubens' most voluptuous maidens.
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And if you've been searching for stand-out deck chairs that don't fall apart in a season, look no further than the dumpster of your local supermarket. Or if you're not the crafty type, the cutting-edge UK designer Max McMurdo of eco design retailer Reestore figured out a way to turn those throwaway trolleys with missing wheels into chic garden furniture. The severe, minimalist silver chairs may not be the most comfortable options for relaxing, but they sure do look phenomenal when clustered around a grill - and not bumping into your ankles.
Before Reestore, the first design shopping cart chair was actually created in 1983 by Frank Schreiner of Stilleto Studio, who got the idea after taking his mother to a design shop in Berlin. His mother glanced at the store's wire mesh furniture and remarked, astutely, that it reminded her of shopping carts.
Meanwhile, Jan Cörbes along with Complett have made a science of garbage furniture. His celebrated portable suitcase chair is lightweight, immensely useful, and can be set up almost anywhere.